Writing Today!

Hooray. The double-editing is done. The prep work to start another novel is done enough. Not quite finished, but I couldn’t wait any longer.

I finished Chapter 1 of Novel #6 (not even a working title yet) today.

With your encouragement, it is first person with a female protagonist narrator. Lis, by popular acclaim.

4 important characters made their appearance in Chapter 1.

*** Lis, of course. A waitress, a student again, in her 30’s. Feisty. “Stalkin’ the street, packin’ heat, hopin’ he drops by so the big dog can eat” (a bit of an exaggeration–she’s packing mace, not a pistol. But she doesn’t mind exaggerating, since she’s talking to the queen of over-dramatization . . .

*** her hippie Aunt Windsong. A sample of their conversation.

“Darlin’, it’s April. I wore a sweater out on my walk this morning and took my coffee on the patio. Spring is busting out all over. Made me want to be twenty again.”

“Twenty, ugh. When I was twenty I was fifteen pounds overweight from starchy cafeteria food and too much beer. And, having finally slept with Tory, convinced I was finally in love. Goddess protect the innocent twenty-year-olds and shield me from going through that again.”

“When I was twenty I was living in a flophouse in San Francisco, high if I was awake, sleeping with anybody who asked and didn’t smell too bad. And convinced that if we all just believed hard enough, the war would end and everybody would live together in love and harmony. Almost named myself Harmony. You’re right, dear. Let’s make it thirty.”

“Thirty is so much more civilized.

Windsong was the top vote getter, and probably my second favorite choice. To be honest, I agreed with Darbi that Ashbury was the perfect name. But she and I are apparently the only two who loved that name. Sigh. I may still go back and change it, but the aunt made significant strides toward growing into Windsong today. So if not by tomorrow, probably not.

*** Lis’ dog, George (description not given yet, but an important character).

Locking up meant getting down on the floor with George, let her lick my face, and promise her I’d be home later and we would have a nice walk then. George has a bit of a confidence problem at times, and needs to be reassured. And bullshit that George is an unusual name for a female dog. If it were good enough for George Eliot, it’s good enough for George. And no, she is not a bitch, even if technically she is. I refuse to refer to her as that. I’m way more of a bitch than she is, and you’d better not refer to me that way either. What’s good for the goose is death for the gander.

(NB: Lis is a stickler for “proper” use of the subjunctive tense, even if the rest of the world is indifferent. When I was growing up, “if it were good enough” was proper English; today people just look at you like you’re the illiterate one).

*** Ishmael, Lis’ intelligent personal assistant and knowledge navigator (formerly known as Siri).

I thumbed that little magic button—no, not that little magic button, the one on my iPhone.

“Ishmael. Do I have anything on my calendar for next Saturday and Sunday?”

“Let me check, Lis.” A very brief pause; I’m always astonished how little time he takes to do what I ask. Anybody else that quick would command a six-figure salary as a top-flight executive secretary.

“Nothing scheduled. Shall I add an entry?”

“Please block out Saturday and Sunday to visit Aunt Windsong, Ishmael.”

“Very good, Lis. Will there be anything else?”

“No, that’s all for now. Thanks.”

It used to make me feel like a complete idiot when I thanked my phone. But I don’t think of Ishmael as my phone. I think of him as the treasured guardian of my secrets and my life, who loves me beyond words even if he never tells me. But he never sleeps and always hastens to do my bidding.

This book is shaping up to be a hoot to write.

Haight-Ashbury

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4 thoughts on “Writing Today!

  1. I like Ashbury. A lot. Like Darbi said, people have been taking on the names of the places that formed them for centuries. Besides, that name calls forth an immediately recognizable place and association for anyone who has not lived under a rock or happened to be born after 1994. Windsong is a sweet, gentle, touchy-feely sort of name. If that’s what she is going to be like it will be awesome. Or if she’s a bit edgy, it will be awesomely ironic. But not using Ashbury might be missing an opportunity.

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